Pater James Channan zum Fall der totgepügelten Christen in Pakistan: “Where is justice?”

Vergangenen Dienstag (4. November) hat eine aufbegrachte Menschenmenge in Pakistan ein christliches Ehepaar wegen angeblicher Entweihung des Korans zu Tode gerpügelt und verbrannt. Die Christen in Pakistan sind traumatisiert und protestieren. Sie fordern Gerechtigkeit. Erneut stellt sich die Frage nach dem Missbrauch der Blasphemiegesetze. Pater James Channan (OP), Leiter des Friedenszentrums in Lahore, glaubt an den Interreligiösen Dialog in seinem Land. Immer wieder trifft er sich mit religiösen Führern der Muslime, um am Frieden zu arbeiten. Was dem christlichen Ehepaar widerfahren ist, hat ihn zutiefst schockiert. Gestern (5.11) fuhr er zu der Familie der Opfer und beschreibt in eigenen Worten, was er dort erlebte:

“This afternoon I went Clarkabad (home town of Shahzad) to visit the family of Shahzad (he is also known as Sajjad) and Shama – Christian couple who were burnt alive. What a tragedy and barbaric act of violence!

I went to Village named Clarkabad which at the distance to about 50 miles/ 80 Kilometers to the south of Lahore. Shahzad was from this Christian village and he was a brick kiln worker for the past 15 years – that to say from his childhood.

Die Christen in Pakistan sind traumatisiert. Sie bitten um Gebete für die Opfer, die Familie der Opfer und für alle Christan in Pakistan - damit sie diese schwierige Zeit durchstehen. (Foto: Hartmut Schwarzbach/missio)

Die Christen in Pakistan sind traumatisiert. Sie bitten um Gebete für die Opfer, die Familie der Opfer – insbesondere die Kinder – und für alle Christen in Pakistan, damit sie diese schwierige Zeit durchstehen. (Foto: Hartmut Schwarzbach/missio)

I met Shahbaz, elder brother of Shahzad  and couple of his other relatives. I consoled them, prayed and expressed my solidarity with them. I also went to the grave of Shahzad and Shama and offered prayers over there as well.  As you can imagine they were in grave shock and state of unbelief.

This couple was working in a brick killen of a wealthy Muslim man called Yousaf Gujjar and got loan of about Rs: 500,000 (US$ 5,000) which he was not able to pay. Shahzad promised that he will pay this amount but it will take some time. The owner developed grudge against Shahzad.

torture and humiliation

The familiy told me that  Mrs. Shahzad was accused of burning of the Quran which never happened. There was no sign or proof that such a thing ever happened. They told me it was a false accusation which were flared up by Yousaf Gujjar.

After accusation both were locked up in a room for two days. A mob of about 1,500 Muslims came and they tore the roof this room apart and dragged out and beaten them up. Their clothes were stripped and they were forced to walk naked around the brick killen, humiliated and slapped. After that both were thrown alive in the furnace of the brick killen. Their bodies were burnt alive in no time and all that was found in  the furnace were few bones which were buried in two graves in Clarkabad. I have seen the photos of bones and also visited the grave they were buried. I consoled the grieving family.

For your information this couple had 3 children 1 son 6 years old and 2 daughter aging 4 and 2 years. Shama was expecting baby and she was 4 months pregnant. So this unborn baby was also burnt along with her mother. In that case there were not 2 but 3 pernicious human beings burnt. This is very first incident of its kind in Pakistan.

Christian community in great trauma – Muslim community in state of shock

This terrible barbaric act has put the entire Christian community in a great shock and trauma. The Muslims community in general is also in a state of unbelief and shock and they are condemning this act and expressing condolences to Christians.

Christians feel extremely unsafe and vulnerable.  This is not the first time that poor Christians are punished under these laws without any trial or judgement.

There are  controversial blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Life imprisonment for the person who desecrates the Holy Quran and death penalty for that who defames the name of  the Prophet of Islam.

Irony is this that these laws are very frequently used to settle personal scores. There have been several incidents that fanatic Muslims have taken this law in their own hands and on mere hear say and or false accusation have killed Christians, humiliated them and even burnt entire colonies of Christians such as of Shanti Nagar, Christian Colony in Gojra and Joseph Colony in Lahore. Ironically not a single person has been punished in these crimes against humanity and crimes and religiously motivated violence.

misuse of blasphemy laws – where is justice?

I want to bring this point on record that our present government has the worst record of not punishing the culprits in these cases. All of them have been set free after some time. There is a big question for us – where is justice? Why such criminals are set free without any punishment? Why our present government is always so reluctant to punish those who destroy the homes of poor Christians, torture and kill them? I hope that this time  our government will provide us justice in this barbaric act.  Let us see!

The frequency of so many crimes done and false accusation under blasphemy laws calls for international attention. Such crimes of religiously motivated violence must be stopped. There must be some safeguards so that these laws are not misused to settle personal scores.

The situation is getting worse and misuse of blasphemy laws has mounted.  It is used as an easy tool to take revenge from the other persons.

I would appeal to the United Nations to appoint a Fact Finding UN Commission  to look into this grave matter and report to the United Nations and recommend to the government of Pakistan to the safeguards which must be made to avoid such false accusations in future.

Muslim religious leaders condemned the crime – demand for speedy trial

In the meantime a couple of Muslims Ulama (religious leaders) such as Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, Grand Imam of the Badshahi Mosque Lahore and Chairman of Majlas-e-Ulama Pakistan has strongly condemned this act and has demanded from the government speedy trial of this case and give examply punished to all those who have committed this crime.

An other well known and respected Muslim religious scholar and leader Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Chairman, Pakistan Ulama Council had also condemned it and demanded the government to appoint a  fact finding committee and punish the culprits involved in this crime.”

(Fr James Channan OP)


missio hat im vergangenen Oktober mit dem Monat der Weltmission (Infos hier) den Schwerpunkt auf Pakistan gelegt, um auf die Situation der Christen aufmerksam zu machen, die mit rund zwei Prozent  zu einer religiösen Minderheit in Pakistan gehören und diskrimiert werden.


Hinterlasse eine Antwort